The trend toward government Cloud computing has grown considerably over the last few years.
Federal agencies are slowly moving their legacy systems to the Cloud to enjoy benefits such as better agility, security, and cost-savings.
At the same time, Cloud service providers are offering solutions to help government organizations meet specific regulations on the Cloud.
Out of all the options available, AWS GovCloud (US) offers the most comprehensive federal Cloud computing solution, and it promises to improve government innovation across the board.
What is AWS GovCloud (US)?
AWS GovCloud (US) is an isolated AWS region that allows federal government agencies to move sensitive workloads into the Cloud.
The region addresses specific regulatory and compliance requirements, including the U.S. International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) regulations.
You can use it to run sensitive workloads containing classified and unclassified information, as well as publicly available data stored in the AWS region.
AWS also takes care of physical and logical access controls for the AWS GovCloud (US) region, but it’s up to you decide who has access to the content in your AWS GovCloud (US) account.
Difference Between AWS GovCloud (US) Region and Standard AWS Regions
AWS GovCloud (US) is like a gated community for federal government agencies and services.
It is physically isolated and has logical network isolation from all other regions on AWS. As a result, you’ll have access to a variety of features that aren’t available in regular AWS regions.
These features include FIPS 140-2 approved cryptographic modules for all AWS service API endpoints and ITAR-compliant infrastructures.
AWS also only allows vetted U.S. citizens with specific access controls, separate from other AWS regions, to administer the AWS GovCloud (US) Region.
By doing so, federal agencies can protect their data from getting accessed by any unauthorized third parties.
Customer data fields such as S3 bucket names are also not allowed to contain any ITAR-regulated data, which further adds to the security of the AWS GovCloud (US) region.
Extra Layers of Security
AWS GovCloud (US)’s security features don’t just become available after you’ve set up your account.
During the sign-up process, every customer is thoroughly vetted to make sure they are a legitimate entity such as a government body, contracting company, or educational organization.
AWS also makes sure that these entities cannot be prohibited or restricted by the U.S. government from exporting or providing services.
Once verified, each entity gains access to endpoints that are specific to the AWS GovCloud (US) Region and accessible only to AWS GovCloud (US) customers.
A list of these endpoints can be found here.
It’s also worth noting that you can only access the AWS GovCloud (US) Region with the AWS GovCloud (US) account access key and AWS GovCloud (US) IAM user credentials.
You can’t access the government Cloud region with standard AWS credentials.
Similarly, you can’t access standard AWS regions using AWS GovCloud (US) credentials.
AWS Management Console for the Government Cloud
Although the standard AWS Management console allows you to sign in with your email address and password, you can only sign in to the AWS GovCloud (US) console using your IAM username and password.
Once logged into the management console, you can use the AWS services listed in the Supported Services section in the AWS GovCloud (US) Region.
Some services launched in the AWS GovCloud (US) Region might have different capabilities and requirements compared to services in standard AWS regions.
For example, you must launch all Amazon EC2 instances in an Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) whenever you use AWS GovCloud (US).
You can find out more information about each service in the AWS GovCloud (US) Region here.
AWS GovCloud (US) for Microsoft Dynamics & SharePoint
“We are proud to be available on AWS Marketplace for the AWS GovCloud (US) Region and are excited to bring our depth of expertise and highly secured and compliant solutions to the United States Government,” said Joe Stafford of Data Resolution.
With AWS GovCloud (US) for Dynamics and SharePoint, government agencies can enjoy the same benefits as commercial organizations on AWS including fast procurement, Bring-Your-Own-Licensing flexibility, and consumption-based usage to Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft Dynamics software on AWS Marketplace for the AWS GovCloud (US) Region.
“AWS GovCloud (US) is designed to meet the unique regulatory requirements of the United States Government by running AWS services in an environment that complies with U.S. Government regulations for processing sensitive workloads and storing sensitive data,” continued Stafford.
“We are excited to offer the same access to security, flexibility, and cost-efficiencies to the U.S. federal government, state and local governments, and the contractors who support their mission.”
To find out more about Data Resolution’s AWS GovCloud (US) for Dynamics & SharePoint, please contact us.